5 Questions for a Book Marketing Manager
Last week I sat down with book editor Sam to ask her five questions about her job and the publishing industry as a whole. This week we continue our exploration of the book world by posing five questions to another industry professional.
Tye Cattanach works in the marketing department at Penguin. I first met her and the rest of the publicity/marketing team last year when we were planning the release of my first book, Vanguard Prime: Goldrush. I knew that Tye's enthusiasm for books and all-round friendliness would make her the perfect subject for an interview, and she didn't disappoint!
1. Did you always want to work in publishing, or did you set out to work in marketing and simply end up working with books?
I cannot ever remember a time in my life when I didn’t love everything about books. Books have always played such an enormous role in my life, right from the time I was very small. When I was growing up I always dreamt of being a bookseller or a librarian and I can happily report that I have been both!
A career in publishing was something I never really considered until the opportunity arose. I was thrilled to pieces to have a chance to work for Penguin and in my very favourite genre, Children’s books! I still pinch myself every single day.
2. What does your job entail? What does a typical week consist of? And what are some stand-out events of a not-so-typical week?
My formal role title is Children’s Marketing Manager – Education. The job title sums up a large part of what I do, but certainly not all of what I do. There is no such thing as a typical week in the world of publishing, I have learned! I believe my son summed up my role perfectly recently when he commented that now I am ‘librarian to lots of schools, not just one school’.
A large part of my time is spent assisting schools and teachers with novel selections or books for their students, classrooms and libraries. But I also do much more than that. I write teaching notes, produce our online magazine Off The Shelf, develop program content and manage Penguin Teachers’ Academy professional development workshops, liaise with Authors and Illustrators and the various organisations that seek to communicate with them, work with the team here in marketing to develop campaigns for all our new titles, maintain the Penguin Teacher Academy Blog and social media channels, respond to letters from students and schools, the list goes on and on and on!
Oh! Did I mention the reading?? I read and read and read! (NOT that I am complaining!)
Stand out events of a not so typical week would be Graeme Base’s launch for Little Elephants at Melbourne Zoo, Justine Clarke’s book launch at the State Library of Victoria for Gobbledygook is Eating a Book, filming Aaron Blabey’s book trailer for The Dreadful Fluff off site at Albert Park College, attending events such as The Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, Melbourne Writers' Festival or escorting Eoin Colfer to the CBCA Conference in Adelaide.
I am getting famous in the office for proclaiming ‘best day ever!’
3. Has the Internet caused a shift in the way you market a book? If so, do you expect more changes to come?
The Internet has caused shifts in traditional marketing techniques. Social media has proven to be a valuable and interesting medium in many areas and professions and a powerful tool when used correctly. I would say there are many more changes to come in terms of the ways in which we market and promote our authors and illustrators and their books. The speed at which new technologies and methods of communication are evolving is incredibly exciting.
4. How much influence do you think marketing has in selling a book?
I believe that marketing, when correctly implemented and carefully thought out, combined with quality publicity can be very powerful in generating word of mouth which, for books, is vital. Everyone wants to read the book everyone else is talking about!
5. What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the publishing industry, and specifically in marketing?
Read. Read everything. Stay abreast of books from all publishing houses, news, social media, developments in technology and trends. All of these are vital tools in how successful you will be in your role. Communication between humans is changing rapidly but one thing will always remain the same; genuine human interaction and relationships are vital. Possibly now more than ever. Stay on the lookout for positions and employment opportunities and never give up on your dream.
That does it for this 5 Questions with..., but in the future I'm still hoping to provide an interview with someone from the sales side of the industry. If there are any questions you guys are curious about, make sure to list them below in the comments section. And in the meantime, make sure to enter the competition to win your own signed copy of Vanguard Prime: Goldrush!